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Foodservice: Changing consumer habits driving the growth of food-to-go

By Cyril Lavenant, Executive Director Foodservice UK

Traffic in the eating out-of-home market grew by +1 percent in 2016, with off-premise – or food-to-go – traffic growing ahead of this at +2.4 percent and accelerating to +7.5 percent within the full-service channel.

Within QSR, off-premise is growing through non-promotional tickets, showing that off-premise is not dependent on promotional activity. On the other hand, on-premise is much more value-driven, with promotional visits growing by +2.3 percent. This is a challenge for on-premise. To offset decline, operators must look to deliver on other key measures of visit satisfaction such as quality of food and ambiance, to avoid dependence on deals.

Off-premise has also grown through average eater cheque, as not only are there more food-to-go visits, but people are paying more for it. This growth in average eater cheque has come from outside of London, +3.8 percent, while the capital has remained flat. Off-premise average cheque growth has been driven by price increases as the average number of items has fallen into decline on an annual and quarterly basis. In 2017 the market will be impacted even more significantly by increasing operating costs and prices will continue to be a focus.

Since 1975 CREST®, NPD's flagship information service, has been monitoring all aspects of how consumers use restaurants and foodservice by rigorously tracking visits to commercial and non-commercial foodservice establishments. CREST arms manufacturers and operators with market dynamics from the consumer perspective, allowing them to monitor the total foodservice industry or examine specific segments, categories, chains, or food items. CREST tracks consumer foodservice usage in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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